The current view among Western scholars of Islam concerning the early development of Islamic jurisprudence was shaped by Joseph Schacht’s famous study on the subject published 50 years ago. Since then new sources became available which make a critical review of his theories possible and desirable. This volume uses one of these sources to reconstruct the development of jurisprudence at Mecca, virtually unknown until now, from the beginnings until the middle of the second Islamic century. New methods of analysis are developed and tested in order to date the material contained in the earliest compilations of legal traditions more properly. As a result the origins of Islamic jurisprudence can be dated much earlier than claimed by Schacht and his school.